The goal:

This email template needs to have the viewer understand all the tools available to them via the company. They are already customers of this company with an account set up so this is not a sales pitch email of any kind. It is more of a "here is all the resources you have access to from us, if you need any assistance please reach out to us" email.

The problem:

The email in question already has a lot of information that is important to the viewer. Hierarchy of said information was set in order to facilitate all the information the company needs the user to be aware of.

I am now being asked to place a customer satisfaction survey at the very top of the email above the information that the company needs the viewer to be aware of. That isn't necessarily the problem as I can obviously add a link anywhere they need it to go. The problems this presents in my opinion outweigh the (if any) advantages of having the survey first in an email.

How I see it will go down:

  1. User opens email to begin reading.

  2. User sees the survey prompt with wording indicating that the survey is in fact short and only three questions long. Survey is outside of the email through a third party survey site. (I have read the copy for it and seen the survey so this is in fact true.)

Here is where it gets convoluted. Below are all the possibilities I can see after step #2.

  1. User sees survey prompt and deletes email based on the assumption that the only purpose the email serves is to complete the survey.

  2. User ignores survey prompt and proceeds down the email.

  3. User completes survey and proceeds to watch cat videos on YouTube or do other things online, thus not going back to the email to view the important information below the survey.

  4. User completes survey and goes back to the email to read the rest of it.

I tried to order them best I could as far as the likelihood of each instance occurring. Top to bottom being highest chance of happening to lowest chance of happening.

My initially suggested layout:

  1. Welcome line.

  2. Information the company needs the viewer to see and understand.

  3. Survey line after information in #2.

  4. Thank you line.

My own assumptions:

I'm guessing my point of contact is being pressured to get results from the survey and is not aware of the negative impact the suggested hierarchy will present by placing a survey before important copy.

There is significant push to put the survey at the top for reasons I am not aware of and have asked several times. I have tried finding research done / case studies to back up my stance of not placing a survey prompt above important information, but have not found anything relating to emails. At this point I can only voice my opinions on the matter to them in concerns of actually achieving the goal of this email template.


Am I wrong in strongly suggesting the survey come last below all the information the company wants / needs the user to understand?

Is there any research / case study that I have missed that can back this stance?

The first section of this email requires the user to log into an account. Would this be an appropriate place to prompt the survey after setting up the account and logging in to complete the satisfaction survey?

User testing is out of the question sadly.

1 Answer 1


User feedback surveys, when presented online, are for the most part purely business requirements and not in any way a benefit to UX in general. Quite the contrary, actually, as they are often an annoyance and get in the way for the user.

In every user test I've been in on a site that uses Foresee, there's usually many comments along the line of "the survey was annoying".

Granted, you can sometimes get some OK feedback if there is open-ended questions, but odds are you're likely going to get a heavily biased user set--namely users so annoyed that they go out of their way to fill out a survey. :)

So, you are not wrong from a UX perspective. The question is whether or not UX concerns trump business concerns in this particular case.

  • That pretty much confirms my thought process. Any evidence I can bring to the table to back that stance up? Thanks! Feb 2, 2015 at 20:05

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